Leading Journalists Expose Major Media Manipulation
The riveting excerpts below are from the revealing accounts of 20 award-winning journalists who expose blatant media manipulation in the highly acclaimed book
Into the Buzzsaw. These courageous writers were kept by corporate media ownership from reporting major news stories. Some were even fired or laid off. They have won numerous awards, including several Emmys and a Pulitzer. Join in building a better world by spreading this news.
Akre—Fox News. After our struggle to air an honest report [on
hormones in milk], Fox fired the general manager [of our station]. The new
GM said that if we didn't agree to changes that the lawyers were insisting
upon, we'd be fired for insubordination in 48 hours. We pleaded with [him]
to look at the facts we'd uncovered. His reply: "We paid $3 billion dollars
for these stations. We'll tell you what the news is. The news is
what we say it is!" [After we refused] Fox's GM presented
us an agreement that would give us a full year of salary, and benefits worth
close to $200,000, but with strings attached: no mention
of how Fox covered up the story and no opportunity to ever expose the facts.
[After declining] we were fired. (click
Dan Rather—CBS, Multiple Emmy Awards. What's going on is a belief
that you can manipulate communicable trust between the leadership and the
led. The way you do that is you don't let the press in anywhere. Access to
war is extremely limited. The fiercer the combat, the more the access is limited,
[including] access to information. This is a direct contradiction of the stated
policy of maximum access to information consistent with national security.
There was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming tires around
people's necks if they dissented. In some ways the fear [now in the U.S.]
is that you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your
neck. That fear keeps journalists from asking the tough questions. I am humbled
to say, I do not except myself from this criticism. (click
Jensen-Stevenson—Emmy-winning producer for 60 minutes. Robert R. Garwood—14 years a prisoner of the
Vietnamese—was found guilty in the longest court-martial in US history. At
the end of the court-martial, there seemed no question that Garwood was a
monstrous traitor. Several years later in 1985, Garwood was speaking publicly
about something that had never made the news during his court-martial. He
knew of other American prisoners in Vietnam long after the war was over. He
was supported by Vietnam veterans whose war records were impeccable….My sources
included outstanding experts like former head of the Defense Intelligence
Agency General Tighe and returned POWs like Captain McDaniel, who held the
Navy's top award for bravery. With such advocates, it was hard not to consider
the possibility that prisoners (some 3,500) had in fact been kept by the Vietnamese as hostages to make sure the US would pay the more than $3 billion in war
reparations. [After the war] American POWs had become worthless pawns. The
US had not paid the promised monies and had no intention of paying in the
Borjesson—CBS, Emmy award winner.
Pierre Salinger announced to the world on Nov. 8, 1996, that he'd received
documents proving that a US Navy missile had accidentally downed [TWA flight
800]. That same day, FBI's Jim Kallstrom called a press conference. A man
raised his hand and asked why the Navy was involved in the recovery and investigation
while a possible suspect. "Remove him!" [Kallstrom] yelled. Two men leapt
over to the questioner and grabbed him by the arms. There was a momentary
chill in the air after the guy had been dragged out of the room. Kallstrom
and entourage acted as if nothing had happened. [Kallstrom was later
hired by CBS.] (click
In the months leading up to the November  balloting, Gov. Jeb Bush ordered
elections supervisors to purge 58,000 voters on the grounds they were felons
not entitled to vote. As it turns out, only a handful of these voters were
felons. This extraordinary news ran on page one of the country's leading paper.
Unfortunately, it was the wrong country: Britain. In the USA, it was not
covered. The office of the governor [also] illegally ordered the removal of
felons from voter rolls—real felons—but with the right to vote under
law. As a result, 50,000 of these voters could not vote. The fact that 90%
of these were Democrats should have made it news as this alone more
than accounted for Bush's victory. (click
Levine—25-year veteran of DEA, writer for New York Times, Los
Angeles Times, USA Today. The Chang Mai "factory"
that the CIA prevented me from destroying was the source of massive amounts
of heroin being smuggled into the US in the bodies and body bags of GIs killed
in Vietnam. Case after case was killed by CIA and State Department intervention
and there wasn't a thing we could do about it….In 1980, CIA-recruited mercenaries
and drug traffickers unseated Bolivia's democratically elected president.
Immediately after the coup, cocaine production increased massively. Bolivia [became] the source of virtually 100% of the cocaine entering the US.
the beginning of the crack "plague."…The CIA along with State and Justice
Departments had to protect their drug-dealing assets by destroying a DEA investigation.
How do I know? I was the inside source….I sat down at my desk in the American
embassy and wrote evidence of my charges. I addressed it to Newsweek.
Three weeks later DEA's internal security [called] to notify me that I was
under investigation….The highlight of the 60 Minutes piece is when
the administrator of the DEA, Federal Judge Robert Bonner, tells Mike Wallace,
"There is no other way to put it, Mike, [what the CIA did] is drug smuggling.
It's illegal." (click
Webb—San Jose Mercury News, Pulitzer Prize winner. In 1996, I wrote a series of stories that began
this way: For the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons
of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods gangs of LA and funneled millions in drug
profits to a guerilla army run by the CIA. The cocaine that flooded in helped
spark a crack explosion in urban America….The story was developing a momentum
all of its own, despite a virtual news blackout from the major media. Ultimately,
it was public pressure that forced the national newspapers into the fray.
The Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles
Times published stories, but spent little time exploring the CIA's activities.
Instead, my reporting and I became the focus of their scrutiny. It was remarkable
[Mercury News editor] Ceppos wrote, that the four Washington Post
reporters assigned to debunk the series "could not find a single significant
factual error." A few months later, the Mercury News [due to intense
CIA pressure] backed away from the story, publishing a long column by Ceppos
apologizing for "shortcomings." The New York Times hailed
Ceppos for "setting a brave new standard," and splashed his apology on their
front page, the first time the series had ever been mentioned there. I quit
the Mercury News not long after that….Do we have a free press today?
Sure. It's free to report all the sex scandals, all the stock market news,
[and] every new health fad that comes down the pike. But when it comes to
the real down and dirty stuff—such stories are not even open for discussion.
Kelly—Author, ABC producer.
ABC hired me to help produce a story about an investment firm that was
heavily involved with the CIA. Part of the ABC report charged that the CIA
had plotted to assassinate an American, Ron Rewald, the president of [the
investment firm]. Scott Barnes said on camera that the CIA had asked him to
kill Rewald. After the show aired, CIA officials met with ABC executive David
Burke, [who] was sufficiently impressed "by the vigor with which they made
their case" to order an on-air "clarification." But that was not enough. [CIA
Director] Casey called ABC Chairman Goldenson. [Thus] despite all the documented
evidence presented in the program, despite ABC standing by the program in
a second broadcast, Peter Jennings reported that ABC could no longer substantiate
the charges. That same day, the CIA filed a formal complaint with the FCC
charging that ABC had "deliberately distorted" the news. In the complaint,
Casey asked that ABC be stripped of its TV and radio licenses….During this
time, Capital Cities Communications was maneuvering to buy ABC. [CIA Director]
Casey was one of the founders of Cap Cities. Cap Cities bought ABC. Within
months, the entire investigative unit was dispersed. (click
McChesney—500 radio & TV appearances. [There has been a] striking consolidation of the media from
hundreds of firms to an industry dominated by less than ten enormous transnational
conglomerates. The largest ten media firms own all US TV networks, most TV
stations, all major film studios, all major music companies, nearly all cable
TV channels, much of the book and magazine publishing [industry], and much,
much more. Expensive investigative journalism—especially that which goes after
national security or powerful corporate interests—is discouraged. Largely
irrelevant human interest/tragedy stories get extensive coverage….A few weeks
after the war began in Afghanistan, CNN president Isaacson authorized CNN
to provide two different versions of the war: a more critical one for the
global audience and a sugarcoated one for Americans….It is nearly impossible
to conceive of a better world without some changes in the media status quo.
We have no time to waste. (click
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Mass Media Manipulations